Upcoming state tests to be shorter

Herkimer students in grades 3-8 taking the English Language Arts and Math exams this spring will see some changes to this year’s exams.

Shorter test periods

The test period is shorter; each test will take place over two days, as opposed to the three-day exams given previously. As long as students are working productively, they will be given as much time as they need to complete the test during the school day.

Eighth-grade students will participate in a pilot program for computer-based testing for their math exams; all other exams will be taken on paper.

New test questions

The test questions have changed as well. This is the first year that test questions have been written by teachers from across New York state.

Students will read short passages and answer multiple-choice questions on the ELA exam. They will also provide evidence to explain their answers, and complete a short written passage. Students taking the math exam will answer multiple-choice questions, and show their work on more complex problems.

No more ‘high-stakes testing’

Results from this year’s tests will not be used in teacher and principal evaluation ratings. The district does not make student promotion or placement decisions solely on the basis of state test scores.

The school will not include the results of the tests on students’ official transcripts or permanent records until Dec. 31, 2018. The state will also provide score reports to help parents understand how their child is doing in ELA and math.

ELA exams will be administered April 11-13. Math exams will be May 1-3. Parents with questions or concerns about the math and ELA exams may contact their child’s building principal, or check out this Frequently Asked Questions document.